90

Actually, the term 'AAA' for superior quality cames from the bond market; since the nineteenth century, AAA has been the highest credit rating for a financial instrument. I would be suspicious of Wikipedia's claim that it is 'mainly used in video games'; there will probably be an 'AAA Plumbers' and an 'AAA Driving Instructors' in your neighbourhood, dating ...


30

The earliest usage of this rating that I’m aware of was by Moody’s in its bond-rating books from the first decade of the twentieth century. (For example, Moody’s Analysis of Railroad Investments 1909.) Its highest bond rating was (and still is) Aaa. Its competitors spelled their highest rating AAA. There were precursors. This book of ratings of Canadian ...


19

"some triple-A map" -- I remember going to AAA as a kid (1980s -- same era as Calvin and Hobbes ran) with my parents before big trips -- the most important thing we needed was a Trip-Tik - a customized map for the journey. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Automobile_Association#Rating_System Clubs also distribute road maps (including ...


13

He's not referring to quality, but rather a brand of map Calvin's Triple-A (AAA) usage refers to the American Automobile Association. And to be more specific, he is referring to the maps they produce for free distribution to Members. Since membership is inexpensive and includes free towing, AAA membership is extremely common amongst drivers in US most ...


6

To add something different to the already-excellent answers above: Canadian Beef is graded on a similar scale: Canadian Prime, A, AA, AAA, B1-B4, D1-D4, or E. Interestingly, Grade A is superior to Grade AA, which are both superior to AAA.


4

The whole purpose of a code name is (or should be) to conceal the nature of the thing referred to. British government code names are invariably arbitrary, and usually taken from pre-prepared lists. A number of British Cold War weapon projects had names consisting of a colour and. another word. Blue Steel was a missile, Green Grass was a radar system. These ...


2

Following Cascabel's comment I am converting a comment to an answer; I submitted it as a comment initially because I thought it was only a contribution to the discussion rather than a complete answer. However, on second thoughts I realise that dating and placing the origin of the square boxing ring probably provides as much of an answer as is possible. ...


2

All available sources suggest its origin is from boxing and refers to a ring corner where assistants support boxers during breaks between rounds: Have someone in one's corner: Fig. to have someone supporting one's position or goals. (Originally from boxing.) As long as I have Mr. Howe in my corner, I feel confident about what I have to say. ...


1

From WorldWideWords Q From Will Thomas: Where do we get loophole from? Around the middle of the following century loophole began to be used figuratively for a means of escape and by 1700 could have our modern sense of an ambiguity or inadequacy in rules or laws that allows somebody to evade their provisions. A loophole is an ...


1

Perennial might fit the bill. perennial (adj.) 1640s, "evergreen," formed in English from Latin perennis "lasting through the year (or years)," from per "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + annus "year" (see annual (adj.)). Botanical sense of "Remaining alive through a number of years" is attested from 1670s; ...


1

I can't say for sure, but it seems to me that it comes from the days of sailing vessels, as one of the quotes above infers, "...hang tight, good rope...". A rope that was under full load from wind-filled sails was not in any way slack or swinging. It was almost as rigid as a wooden beam. It was doing its job of keeping something in place. So "Hang tight" ...


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